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Bill Nye slams creationism
August 27th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

Bill Nye slams creationism

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–Famed TV scientist Bill Nye is slamming creationism in a new online video for Big Think titled "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children."

"Denial of evolution is unique to the United States," Nye begins in a YouTube video posted on Thursday.  The video quickly picked up steam over the weekend and as of Monday morning had been viewed more than 1,100,000 times.

Nye - a mechanical engineer and television personality best known for his program, "Bill Nye the Science Guy" - said the United States has great capital in scientific knowledge and "when you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in it, it holds everyone back."

"Your world becomes fantastically complicated if you don't believe in evolution," Nye said in the Web video.

Creationists are a vast and varied group in the United States.  Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

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In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world, and everything in it in six days.

For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution.  Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth, and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.

Your Take: 5 reactions to Bill Nye's creationism critique

The Gallup Poll has been tracking Americans' views on creation and evolution for the past 30 years.  In June it released its latest findings, which showed 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

During the 30 years Gallup has conducted the survey, creationism has remained far and away the most popular answer, with 40% to 47% of Americans surveyed saying they believed that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years.

Survey: Nearly half of Americans subscribe to creationist view of human origins

"The idea of deep time of billions of years explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your worldview becomes crazy, untenable, itself inconsistent," Nye said in the video.

"I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that's fine.  But don't make your kids do it.  Because we need them.  We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.  We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.

Creationists' beliefs about the origins of the Earth are often a narrow focus, based in large part on religious beliefs, and while they reject evolution as "just one theory," they often embrace other fields of science and technology.

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In "The Genesis Flood," the 1961 book that in many ways help launch the Young Earth creationism movement in the United States, the authors write: “Our conclusions must unavoidably be colored by our Biblical presuppositions, and this we plainly acknowledge."  Their goal for the book was to harmonize the scientific evidence with the accounts in Genesis of creation and the flood.

The idea of creationism has been scorned by the mainstream scientific community since shortly after Darwin introduced "The Origin of Species" in 1859.  By 1880, The American Naturalists, a science journal, reported nearly every major university in America was teaching evolution.

"In another couple centuries I'm sure that worldview won't even exist.  There's no evidence for it. So..." Nye ends his video.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Creationism • Science

soundoff (14,640 Responses)
  1. Macs

    Mr. Nye should see the Golden Ratio format of the Bible as seen only in the Kingdom Bible version http://www.phibible.org, before making such silly statements. I've posted about a dozen videos on youtube (search UCCOO Golden Ratio Bible) explaining what this is all about.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Max

      Sorry. Misspelled my name. It's Max

      August 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  2. RillyKewl

    Creationism is legit for guys like Todd Akin

    August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  3. huntsman1968

    Do you know where whales came from? They came from dogs. Curious dogs that wandered down to the sea shore
    .To all you atheists who keep throwing out the same old jargon and arguments, study just a little bit on whates. and tell me with all honestly that you really believe they came from dogs. I am so sorry but I must step aside for a while, and have me a good laugh. Whales from dogs.........

    August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Allen

    Evolution has more problems with it than creationism. Mammals are born in a womb, how was the first mammal conceived? In order for there to be an abnormality in dna, there has to be dna. Where did the dna come from? Is it really evolutionary theory that all life evolved from the same strand of dna? Anyone who understands dna knows that is impossible. No anyone who understands biology knows that the theory of evolution, is simply just a theory...

    August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Colin

      yes, six days and a talking snake makes a lot more sense

      August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • I AM

      Well Colin
      Bill Nye is a talking Snake....and he is lying to you. Go figure.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • bobs your uncle

      Ummm, because it came from evolution? WTH? You think everything just looked like the thing before?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • BioGuy

      How'd that high school Biology class go for ya'?
      Monotremes hatch from eggs laid by Mom. Marsupials hatch from eggs inside Mom. Eggs have a structure called an amnion that absorbs oxygen and nutrients from the surface and yolk (respectively). Attach that amnion to Mom and you have Placentals – like you. All are Mammals. monotremes evolved from reptiles, marsupials from monotremes, and placentals from marsupials. Its just not that hard.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Allen

      Actually I have a degree in biology. When you are talking about evolution you are really talking about recombinant dna. Any biologist will tell you, you can not get a lion from a cactus...

      August 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • BioGuy

      And I am a biochemist. I am not talking about recombinant DNA, nor is any Evolutionary Biologist. What religious organization granted your degree?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Allen

      I am just pointing out the fallacy of hanging your hat on evolutionary theory. A scientist will tell you there are some very big holes in the evolutionary process. The first being how did the "first" life come into existence. DNA is not an element...

      August 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Allen –

      BioGuy has your number, Allen. You're in way over your head.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Allen

      Bio chemist you can not be an educated biologist. You do not know the simple meaning of recombinant dna. Which is any dna that does not occur within a cell by a natural process. DNA is a protein, any true scientist knows this. Point to it on the elemental tables, which is were any evolutionary theory has to start...

      August 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • GodNotReligion

      The word "theory" does not mean simply an idea in the scientific community. It means something that can be tested and proven, which evolution has done, over and over and over. It is tested all the time and never fails. If it ever does, scientists will develop a new theory. They only seek the truth, unlike religions which seek to brainwash. Physicists do this all the time.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @BioGuy –

      Give it up. Clearly Allen is just blathering.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Allen

      I am not per say endorsing creationism, but any intelligent person would say that any dna strand is more complex than say the great pyramids. But point out to any atheists that there has yet to be evidence of the universe somehow accidentally putting together one and they go into a logic loop...

      August 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Allen

      I hate trying to have conversations with uneducated people. They cut and paste from scientific journals, without understanding the science. Somehow some fool can get from a fish to a marsupial without first getting from elements to proteins, which has to happen first. I am basically asking you to explain how a rock became a microorganism...Which today can not be done...

      August 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • John

      Lol...you claim to be a biologist and you don't even know the difference between biogenisis and evolution. Did you flunk 2nd grade biology? I'm embarassed for you.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Allen

      Yea, as usual you point out the fundamental flaws in evolutionary theory and the"enlightened" make up crap. The truth is that the theory of evolution is simply that a theory. It is not now a confirmed "fact" of science. It just simply isn't. An yes I do know what they mean, I am pointing out that they are not reconcilable. They simply are not...

      August 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Allen –

      Evolution is both a theory and a fact, Allen. I've included a link to the National Academy of Sciences' website where this concept will be explained to you. Read. Learn.

      http://www.nationalacademies.org/evolution/TheoryOrFact.html

      August 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  5. Jason

    The folly you show....rights for children? Teach them well? Yet – you will gladly abort those that simpply come at a "bad time" in your life – right?
    Science PROVES religion....the religion of FAITH alone is indeed scary – you are correct – but the brain that thinks it knows too much is even scarier. The most inteligent man ever walking this planet would know we are limited by time and by sheer understanding the thoughts we posess. It takes this understanding to smile when we see things we disagree with – and try and understand them a bit more – instead of cramming our half-backed notion that we have all the answers =- sorry guy – you do not....

    August 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  6. bobby frank

    I have always had questions about Adam and Eve. If they were the first two then their children had to have had incest with each other or with the father. When I bring that up it's like shut up and sit in the corner until you are sorry for what you said! Oh and hope you don't go to hell for saying it too.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • truthseeker777

      Wow, how shallow of a thinker you are.
      So, God could not have also made other people as well? Just not mentioned in the Bible?
      Not sitting in the corner here.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  7. KnowsMoreThanYou

    This country was better before Satan's scientists took over.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Joe

      Conform or die......

      August 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      now HeavenSent – please let the adults discuss things beyond you. Go to your room and play with your imaginary friends.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  8. Dr. Dennis

    ChokeOnYourBible, let me just ask this question. if you take just 5 minutes and really look around even a moment to notice the intricate details of the palms of your hands. My friend you have to be quite the faithful to believe all of this was an accident (big bang theory) and that humans came about from the accidental mixing of single celled species. Don't just hang on to your scientific theories but actually use your head and look around and even you will see this world was no accident.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Chazbo

      So let's take a look around: Your god created a planet that produces all sorts of natural disasters, has diseases that attack children, earthquakes, floods, plaques, tornados, tens of thousands of people die a miserable death each month. Your god is sure a nice guy. Or is your guy a chick? And your god never seems to show him/her/itself? You believe in something because you look at the plam of your hand and can't explain how something so intricate could have been created and so you create the tooth fairy and the easter bunny as answers; just like our ancestors did when they looked up at the stars and moon and said they were gods. Just like the catholic church did when it imprisioned Galileo because he had the nerve to say that the earth was not the center of the universe. You are delusional my friend and you need medication. You need to come to grips with the fact that you are going to die one day and that probably is going to be the end of you. And if it is not the end of you it is not because the tooth fairy, Thor, Zeus or anyone of the thousands of made up gods create during the history of what surely is a doomed species, us. The dinosaurs will have lived for hundreds of millions of years longer than we are going to be around and you and your stupid and ignorant friends will be a major cause of our destruction.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  9. Don Cox

    For a scientist, Bill Nye sure has some pretty big holes in his argument, from the bandwagon approach ("Denial of evolution is unique to the United States") to a brilliant non sequitur (implying that creationists aren't capable of building stuff and solving problems). C'mon, Bill, I would have expected better of you.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Jeff O

      He's the Bob Villa of science...
      I guess he missed the last 100 years of innovation when we were a much more religious country.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • donna

      Jeff O, we have been intensely innovating for a lot longer than that. But that doesn't mean that religion hasn't stunted our scientific progress.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jeff O

      Mularkey... It's a easy cop out from an Atheist. Low hanging fruit. Blaming our stuck in the mud teachers unions and our fixation on being a movie, music or sports star is little tougher... and less popular.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • donna

      Was that supposed to be a response to my comment?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  10. Joe

    Your precious Jesus can kiss my.......

    August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Engineer

      Your what? I'm very interested in what mature, thoughtful, well articulated statement you were going to end that sentence with... I'm sure it would have been very senstive, and constructive to the discussion considering your defamation of King Jesus, you know He died for you, yes you, even in your hate for Him he is reaching and grasping and pleading with God on your behalf. Let's hear what you were going to say. How funny you are too afraid to truly speak your mind on an anonymous board lol.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  11. KnowsMoreThanYou

    Ban science and trust the lord

    August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • fsjunkie

      There is a use for science in navigating, exploring, understanding, and exploiting the physical world...that's why God gave us science. Bill Nye just doesn't realize that he still works for God. That totally cracks me up. 😉

      August 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  12. a famous brony

    47%?? I really can't say that I'm "proud to be an american"... wow... just... wow.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • fsjunkie

      Scientists have mastered...or at least merely become proficient at reverse engineering. God was the original engineer who designed all natural things with properties that follow our scientists' articulated laws so that we can make sense of and manipulate our physical world. I love science, but I know its place.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  13. Babs

    The Hadon Collider cost a lot of money to build. We should consult it.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  14. WU

    No one knows how we got here. Pure and simple. When someone's belief about how we got here starts to be bandied about as an authority then you have the worst kind of intellectual and spiritual dishonesty. Going from "I don't know " to "it has to be like ________ " is so stupid it boggles the mind. Say it all together now.....our origins are the stuff of mystery and speculation.

    Dogma of any kind is the refuge of idiots and cowards.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      We know for sure that we evolved from lower life forms. That is a fact and not a mystery. We don't know where the original lower life form came from, I'll give you that. However, evolution makes no attempt to answer that particular question so it is irrelevant in a discussion on the validity of evolution itself.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  15. IceMan

    The statistics cited in this piece are terrifying.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  16. Commonsense

    Religious Fundamentalism is the greatest threat this world has ever seen. People of faith and sense, and those without faith need to stand up and fight back against this wave of ignorance before this ccountry falls into the same trap as so many other Islamic countries. Teaching our kids critical thinking skills is job #1.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      It really is the most fundamental problem with the world right now. Either directly or indirectly it is at the heart of just about every other problem we face in the world. It causes people with common interests to be divided and allows the followersto ignore the actual facts of a given situation/issue with some kind of blissful, self-rightous ignorance that reality is how they think it should be as opposed to how it actually is.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  17. H. Tiberius Miser

    I think that we can all agree – creationists and evolutionists alike – that Bill Nye had the best theme song on television at the time.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  18. Jeff O

    So our national fixation on sports and entertainment stars has nothing to do with why our kids aren't interested in science, but religion does? ....Yup, got it.. LOL

    August 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  19. All In Good Fun

    Ask the great angel Maroni! Hey wasn't she one of the American girl gymnasts?

    August 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  20. michiganhockey11

    Advances in science have – more than ever – confirmed the existence of a theistic God. The death of the steady state theory and the current understanding that the universe as we know it exploded out of nothing into existence, the incredible fine tuning of the universe for human life, the confirmation of specified complexity like DNA that in a single strand contains digital information equivalent to 600,000 pages of intelligence and is mathematically identical to a language, all act as pointers to an intelligent source that is behind it all.

    A false dilemma attempts to drive a person into an either/or answer when a third alternative exists. Unbelievers are being conditioned to believe they must choose between science and Christianity, when in fact they can have both. history is rich with brilliant scientists who have been believers. Men like like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Ray, Linnaeus, and Cuvier were all Christians, as are more recent great thinkers like Collins and Polkinghorne.

    When being confronted with the stark reality that the universe did indeed have a beginning, Einstein said, “I want to know how God created this world. . . .I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.”

    Science is great. Scientism isn’t. Scientism is a philosophy (and self-refuting) and it ignores other much-respected and used methods for obtaining knowledge, such as legal/forensic/historical method (which is used every day).

    And lastly-a great myth:
    Philip and Axelrod’s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history. Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature, which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, when one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%.

    That means that all faiths combined – minus Islam – have caused less than 4% of all of humanity’s wars and violent conflicts. Further, they played no motivating role in the major wars that have resulted in the most loss of life.

    Kind of puts a serious dent into Harris’ argument, doesn’t it?

    The truth is, non-religious motivations and naturalistic philosophies bear the blame for nearly all of humankind’s wars. Lives lost during religious conflict pales in comparison to those experienced during the regimes who wanted nothing to do with the idea of God – something showcased in R. J. Rummel’s work Lethal Politics and Death by Government:

    Non-Religious Dictator Lives Lost
    Joseph Stalin – 42,672,000
    Mao Zedong – 37,828,000
    Adolf Hitler – 20,946,000
    Chiang Kai-shek – 10,214,000
    Vladimir Lenin – 4,017,000
    Hideki Tojo – 3,990,000
    Pol Pot – 2,397,000

    August 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @MI bullhockey

      And this has bearing on a 4.5B year old earth versus a 10,000 year old earth how exactly?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • I am God

      Are you really that dumb? If you combine all religious wars, which include Mayan, Christianity, Hindu, Muslim, Aztec, Native American, and so on and so forth you will find that religion is the world's leading problem in creating wars.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • ME II

      This is not scientific evidence for God.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Eric G

      Sorry, argument from as-sumption. Burden of proof lies with you. You make claims without supporting evidence. No points for you this round.

      (and uh, Hitler was a Christian. Yes, you can look it up. No, you can't deny it because it doesnt support your world view.)

      August 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • twirtzy

      That is amazing amount of fundamentalist bull for one post.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mike

      Right, whatever you say pal.

      Why did you fail to mention, The Crusades, the Inquisition, Salem witch trials, Jim Jones, 9/11. Oh right because those events would show how religion has been harmful to society.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Danger

      What about our universe or world is perfectly tuned for humans? Most places in the universe are too hot/cold or full of radiation for us to survive, 75% of this world "made for us" is salt water. Also, Atheism was not the cause for all those violent dictators, the only reason they are atheistic regimes is because they didnt want to compete with the church for control of the population. And hitler was a catholic.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.